Basic Needs

Basic Needs Center 

The Basic Needs Center is located at the College of the Desert Palm Desert Campus in South Annex 5. The Basic Needs Center serves as a single location for students who are experiencing basic needs insecurity related to basic needs services and resources.The Manager for Basic Needs coordinate and act as a broker in identifying, supporting, and linking students to on- and off-campus housing, food, mental health, and other basic needs services. 

What are Basic Needs?

Basic Needs refers to the food, stable housing, wellness and security of our students at College of the Desert. We have compiled support programs and resources that can assist our students in meeting their basic needs so they can focus on their academic success. 

Basic Needs Assistance? 

Are you looking to get connected to basic needs resource? There are many ways to get connected to basic need services.

Contact Jocelyn Vargas, Manager for Basic needs Center at 760.773.2508, or email at

Students can also visit us at South Annex 6, at the Palm Desert campus or complete the Basic Needs Assistance form. 



On-Campus Resources

Central Pantry 

In partnership with FIND Food Bank, College of the Desert has opened two on campus food pantries where students are able to access non-perishable items, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other household items. 

The Central Pantry at Palm Desert is located at South Annex 5 and at the Indio campus is located in the former Roadrunner Pantry behind the Bookstore. 

Spring Semester Hours

Starting January 29, 2024

Central Pantry- Palm Desert campus South Annex 5

Mondays through Thursday: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Indio Pantry- Behind the Bookstore 

Monday through Thursday: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Students seeking assistance with basic needs can contact us at 760.862.1319  or email at 

Starting Fall 2023: New Pantry protocol 

The Central Pantry is open to all currently enrolled students. Starting the Fall 2023 term students will need to provide proof of enrollment. 

1. Download the MyCOD App. To download from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, search for “MyCOD Mobile App.” 

2. At your next pantry visit, have your COD ID ready and pull up your current schedule on the MyCOD app to show that you are a currently enrolled student. 

3. You will be issued a unique identifiable sticker that will be placed on your COD ID. This will help us better serve students at check in. 

If you do not have a COD ID you can visit the Student Resources Page for information on how to get issued your student ID. 

Community Health Worker (Promotores de Salud)

The Basic Needs Center at the Palm Desert campus will have a FIND Food Bank Community Health Worker (CHW), who are trained staff members that work to improve public health and access to life-saving services. FIND Food Bank Community Health Worker is available to assist students with connecting to various off-campus resources.

A CHW can assist with applying to the following off-campus programs and services: 

  • CalFresh/Food Stamps
  • Section 8, Rental Assistance, Utility Assistance
  • SunDial
  • IEHP Transportation
  • Medi-Cal
  • Dental Services
  • Behavioral Health/Mental Health
  • General Assistance/GR
  • SSI
  • CalWORKs
  • Disability
  • Paid Family Leave

To schedule an appointment, contact Samantha Ambriz Volunteer Program Coordinator at 760.600.6848 or by email at Let them know that you are a COD Student.


The Basic Needs Center will host workshops and opportunities for students to connect to community organizations, agencies and other resources to support their basic needs including utility discounts, Cal Fresh, rental assistance, and much more. 

Date and Time Presentation Topic

February 15, 2024

FIND Food Distribution at the Palm Springs campus from 3-6 PM, will not count towards students weekly food pantry visit. Open to general public and COD students. 

February 21, 2024

Department of Public Social Services Cal Fresh application, Lot 2, will assist with completing the CalFresh application from 12-2 PM

February 26, 2024 FIND will be holding Farmer's Produce event at Lot 3 from 1-3 PM, will not count towards students weekly food pantry visit. Only for COD Students.  

On-Campus Resources for Student Parents 

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) 
Assist CalWORKs students to achieve self-sufficiency through employment and education.  

McCarthy Child Development Center
On campus program serves children from 12 months to 5 years, with priority for the children of COD students carrying at least 6 credits.  

Off-Campus Resources


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Riverside County HomeConnect

Riverside County HomeConnect is a county-wide coordinated response system for those in housing crisis. 

Call 1.800.498.8847


Shelter from the Storm

73550 Alessandro Drive #103, Palm Desert, CA 92260 | 760.674.0400 

Safe House of the Desert

72710 East Lynn Street, Thousand Palms, CA 92276 | 760.343.3211

Fair Housing Council of Riverside County

760.864.1541 | 

Housing Authority of the County of Riverside

760.863.2828 | 

The Narrow Door

43052 Madison Street #101, Indio, CA 92201 | 760.775.6200

Coachella Valley Rescue Mission

47-470 Van Buren Street, Indio, CA 92201
760-347-3512 main line / 760-851-2160 intake line

CV Harvest Box

College of the Desert is proud to partner with Coachella Valley Harvest Box to offer locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables directly to students experiencing food insecurity.  Students can find the form to request a box biweekly on the college’s social media pages. 

FIND Food Bank

760.775.FOOD (3663) |

FIND has several distribution centers throughout the Coachella Valley for those experiencing food insecurity. Contact FIND for the schedule and location of the distribution center nearest you.

Martha’s Village and Kitchen

83791 Date Avenue, Indio, CA 92201 | 760.347.4741

Coachella Valley Rescue Mission

47-470 Van Buren Street, Indio, CA 92201
760-347-3512 main line / 760-851-2160 intake line

California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) 

Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) are tax credits for working people who have earned low to moderate income. You may be eligible to receive a cash refund or reduce the amount of tax you owe. 

Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) 

The Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) provides a credit up to $1,083 per tax return for Californians who qualify for CalEITC and have a child under 6 years old.

California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 

Program helps families across the state by providing nutrition education, breastfeeding support, healthy foods, and referrals to health care and other community services. WIC serves infants and children up to age 5 and people who are pregnant or have given birth or experienced pregnancy loss.

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) 

Assist CalWORKs students to achieve self-sufficiency through employment and education. 

McCarthy Child Development Center

On campus program serves children from 12 months to 5 years, with priority for the children of COD students carrying at least 6 credits. 

Haul Pass

SunLine Transit Agency and College of the Desert recently partnered to provide students FREE unlimited SunBus rides as part of SunLine's new Haul Pass program.

Students can use their active student ID card by swiping them through the SunBus card reader on the fare box. Should they require assistance, bus operators can help.

Students that need assistance with the process may contact the Office of Student Life at 760.862.1317.

The following services provide a variety of free or low-cost medical services. Organizations may offer a variety of services at a variety of locations. Contact each service to find the one that suits your needs.

S.A.G.E. Dental Clinic

39620 Washington St. Suite C, Palm Desert, CA 92211

Borrego Health Clinics

Locations in Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs and Thermal | 855.436.1234 | 

Planned Parenthood

Locations in Coachella and Rancho Mirage 
888.743.7526 |

ABC Recovery Center

44359 Palm Street, Indio, CA 92201 | 760.342.6616 

Alcoholics Anonymous | Narcotics Anonymous | 

California Smokers’ Helpline

1.800.300.8086 |

The organizations listed below provide free or low-cost legal counseling to income qualified families or individuals. Individual centers provide different forms of assistance. Please contact each service to find the one that best suits your needs.

Inland Counties Legal Services

82632 Highway 111, Suite C, Indio, CA 92201 | 760.342.1591 

CAP – County of Riverside Community Action Partnership

951.955.4900 | 

TODEC Legal Center (Immigration & DACA)

1482 Sixth St. Coachella, CA 92236 | 760.698.8787 |

CA Rural Legal Assistance

1460 Sixth Street, Coachella, CA 92236
760.398.7261 ext. 302 

State of California Employment Development Department

44199 Monroe Street Suite B, Indio, CA 92201 | 760.863.2540 

Catholic Charities – Palm Desert Counseling Center

73441 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260 | 760.568.5101

Desert Best Friend’s Closet, Coachella Valley

74040 Hwy 111 #F, Palm Desert, CA 92260 | 760.776.9975

Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center

77806 Flora Road. A, Palm Desert, CA 92260 | 760.345.9200

Small Business Development Center

44199 Monroe Street #B, Indio, CA 92201 | 760.848.4096

Cathedral City Library

33520 Date Palm Dr. Cathedral City, CA 92234 | 760.328.4262

Coachella Branch Library  

1500 Sixth St. Coachella, CA 92236 | 760.398.5148

Desert Hot Springs Library

11691 West Dr. Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 | 760.329.5926

Indio Branch Library 

200 Civic Center Mall, Indio, CA 92201 | 760.347.2383

La Quinta Library

78275 Calle Tampico, La Quinta, CA 92253 | 760.564.4767

Palm Desert Library

73300 Fred Waring Dr. Palm Desert, CA 92260 | 760.346.6552

Palm Springs Library

300 S Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262 | 760.322.7323

Rancho Mirage Library

71100 Hwy 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 | 760.341.7323

Community Connect Riverside County 211

Call 211 from any phone or visit 

A confidential service providing Riverside County residents access and referrals to community and health information, 211 is available toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in many languages. Reach out to 211 if you or anyone you know is in need of: 

  • Children’s services including day care 
  • Education and the arts 
  • Financial assistance 
  • Food and shelter information
  • Health care and mental health services
  • Help with healthcare options
  • Job training and unemployment services
  • Rent and mortgage assistance 
  • Senior services including social security 
  • Suicide prevention hotline
  • Ways to volunteer

Coachella Valley Sexual Assault Services

74333 Hwy 111 #103, Palm Desert, CA 92260 | 760.568.9071

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

800.273.TALK (8255) 

The Trevor Project: 24-hour Crisis/Suicide Prevention Hotline for LGBTQ Community


National Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the US to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line trains volunteers to support people in crisis. With over 42 million messages processed to date, we’re growing quickly, but so is the need.

Riverside County Mental Health Urgent Care Facilities

Get more information at the 24/7 Mental Health Urgent Care site

Riverside: 951-509-2499

Palm Springs: 442-268-7000

Perris: 951-349-4195

American Red Cross

39645 Entrepreneur Lane, Palm Desert, CA 92211 | 888.831.0031

Food Pantries

Emergency pantries for students experiencing food insecurity can be found in multiple locations on the Palm Desert Campus and at each of the education centers in Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Mecca/Thermal and Palm Springs. Ask a counselor for details. Students are limited to two items per day.

Showers for Homeless Students

Showers for students experiencing homelessness are available in the gymnasium locker rooms on the Palm Desert Campus on weekdays. Contact Public Safety at 760.341.2111 regarding access.

Veteran Services

The Veterans Resource Center provides critical service and support for our veterans; active duty, National Guard and Reserve military personnel, their spouses and dependents; and faculty and staff. For more information, contact the VRC at 760.773.2536.

Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Office is committed to making college affordable for students, and to assist students and families with any questions regarding the student financial aid process. The Financial Aid Office offers several types of financial aid which are funded through federal, state and local agencies, as well as the College itself. For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office at 760.773.2532.

Dreamer Resource Center

The Dreamer Resource Center provides a safe, welcoming environment where undocumented, AB 540, Dreamer students can connect with campus and community resources. Some services include: academic advising, CA Dream Act application assistance and informational workshops. For more information, please call 760.565.4850

Health and Psychological Services

Student Health and Wellness supports registered students in achieving their educational goals by maintaining optimum physical, mental and emotional health. The clinic 
is staffed with licensed professional nurses and licensed mental health professionals. All services are free unless otherwise specified. Students must be enrolled in classes, during the current semester, to receive services.

Services covered by your student health fee are:

  • Free over-the-counter medications
  • Health education and consultation
  • Health evaluations (including pregnancy, sore throat, urine and blood glucose tests)
  • Low cost flu and other vaccines
  • Mental health services (also available at Indio campus)
  • Process all COD student accident insurance claims
  • Referrals
  • Tuberculosis screening (TB Test)
  • Vision screening

For more information and to set up an appointment, 
contact 760.776.7211.

Counseling Services

Counseling services are available for students who need information or assistance with choosing classes, changing majors, meeting transfer requirements and much more. Counseling services are available at the Palm Desert, Indio and Mecca/Thermal College of the Desert campuses, or by calling 760.773.2521.

Disabled Students Programs and Services

Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) is committed to providing students with disabilities equal access to a community college education. DSPS provides services and courses to support students with disabilities in the achievement of their academic and vocational goals. For more information, call 760.773.2534.

Career Workforce Solutions Center

The mission of the Career and Workforce Solutions Center is to enhance student success by empowering students with the tools and skills necessary to be active participants in their career development. Services include:

  • Career assessments
  • Career workshops
  • Interview skills
  • Individual career counseling
  • Job/internship information
  • Major exploration
  • Resume writing assistance

43500 Monterey Ave. Palm Desert, CA 92260
Admin. Bldg. Rm 5


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